Author: Sara Holland
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publishing Date: March 3, 2020
Age Category & Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it — at any cost.
Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds — each with their own magic — together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.
For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.
But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…
➝ Sum it up in points!
✔ three worlds converge at an inn on Earth
✔ vulnerable female protagonist
✔ shape-shifters, soul devourers
✔ bisexual main character, LGBTQ+ side characters
✔ surprising revelation at the end
Havenfall is treading on a line that connects four worlds, out of which Earth is neutral with its non-magical people, balancing the growth of a girl recently burdened with responsibility and danger lurking in the form of shape-shifters from a crack in this Inn that connects the magical worlds to Haven (Earth). An excellent portrayal of a vulnerable, self-doubting protagonist that allows a growth pattern to be created is appreciable and the dynamic scenarios where the normality of an inn needs to be coordinated with keeping away monsters and ensuring the safety of this world’s inhabitants, are commendable. With the queer main protagonist allowing some feelings to float for the sapphic love interest, since the straight male crush has surprisingly disappeared, and LGBT+ side characters, the sexual diversity is refreshing. However, the romantic explorations are lacking, the story moves a little too slowly, and predictable plot turns make the overall reading experience enjoyable but not extremely delightful.
➝ Trigger Warnings
✔ violence & moderate gore scenes
✔ criminally sentenced mother
✔ loss of a loved one
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or review. Thank you, FFBC tours, Bloomsbury YA and Sara Holland! This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a percentage of your purchase using the link without any extra cost to you. Please consider buying through these affiliate links if you wish to support the blog. Thank you!
Sara Holland grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream.